Even though dove season’s popularity is centers on Labor Day weekend, the late season can offer hunters fantastic wing-shooting when the weather puts hunters in long-sleeved camo. For land managers and hunters who have preserved corn and soybeans for late-season dove hunts, December is a perfect time to bring down the seed.

Unlike waterfowl, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service allows legal manipulation of crops for the sole purpose of providing food and a hunting area for doves, which are suckers for energy-rich seeds. Soybeans, wheat, corn and sunflowers are a mourning dove’s delight. They can be grown to maturity, mowed/disked to scatter the seed along the ground, and then hunted over for doves without having to hide from the game warden. All hunters with an interest in dove hunting should take advantage of these methods.  

In December, the majority of the food sources are dwindling for doves. Freshly scattered grain on clean ground is exactly what doves are looking for. As soon as these grains are scattered, any doves in an area will find the food source and begin feeding regularly. All of the remaining rows of grain that have been left from the earlier parts of the season need to be scattered, smothered, and uncovered. 

The last of the dove season is here and will be over soon. Migrating doves will appreciate the gesture and offer great shooting around the holidays.